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East Riding
Church of St Magnus, Bessingby - - 1223494.jpg
Church of St Magnus, Bessingby
Grid reference: TA159659
Location: 54°4’35"N, 0°13’48"W
Post town: Bridlington
Postcode: YO16
Dialling code: 01262
Local Government
Council: East Riding of Yorkshire
East Yorkshire

Bessingby is a village in the East Riding of Yorkshire. It lies immediately south-east from the A614, a mile and a half south-west from Bridlington (to which town's civil parish it has been allocated).


Bessingby appears to be a site of Prehistoric and Roman occupation. Fragments of Neolithic axes have been discovered,[1] and cropmarks indicating trackways, ditch boundaries and enclosures have been seen at Bessingby High Field, half a mile to the south of the village, and just to the east, near to the A165 road. A further archeological site is that of a now non-existent water mill, noted as extant in 1418, that could have been sited on Gypsey Race.[2]

In the Domesday Book of 1086 the village is written as Basingebi or Basinghebi. It had three villeins, one freeman and four burgesses, with 37 ploughlands, one and a half plough teams, a meadow of eight acres and a church. In 1066 lordship of the manor was held by Earl Morcar, being transferred to the King in 1086.[3] The Conqueror gave the village to Gilbert de Gant, his nephew; its ownership was later transferred to Bridlington Priory during the reign of Henry I.[4][5]

In 1808 Benjamin Pitt Capper recorded 17 houses and a Bessingby population of 87.[6] By 1837 Moule noted 83 inhabitants, and St Magnus's church, rebuilt in 1766, containing monuments to H. Hudson (d.1826), and his wife Lady Ann (d.1818). Hudson's seat was Bessingby Hall at the north of the village,[7][8] inherited by his son Sir James Hudson (1810–1885), a private secretary under William IV, later in Foreign Service at Rio de Janeiro and Turin.[9] In July 1825 William Scoresby, Arctic explorer and scientist, became curate of Bessingby, before leaving to become Chaplain of the Mariners' Church, a floating ministry at Liverpool, in November 1826.[10][11] In 1892 Bessingby and its parish contained 171 inhabitants, within an area of 1,269 acre. Agricultural production was chiefly wheat, oats and beans. By then, the manor, Hall and estate had been purchased from the Hudson family by George Wright JP,[4] who provided in his will for the construction of the new village church, St Magnus.[12]


Bessingby Hall

Bessingby's parish church, is the Church of St Magnus. It is a Grade II* listed building.[12]

St Magnus was built in 1893–94 by Temple Moore, in 14th-century style, it replaced an earlier 1767 brick church. A crenellated tower with short steeple sits centrally between nave and chancel. Detailing is of Decorated Gothic style, with stained glass by Kempe, dated 1900. There is a 1570 cup by Robert Beckwith, and a 1704 paten by Seth Lofthouse. Tablet monuments are to the Hudson family, by R. J. Wyatt. Pevsner]]'s view of the church is that "It is competent, but no more".[13]

Bessingby Hall

Bessingby Hall, Grade II listed, was built by Thomas Cundy in 1807, in yellow brick with sash windows and Grecian portico. Further listed buildings attached to the Hall are its former Keepers' Cottage, and a pigeoncote, both 17th century.[14][15][16]

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Bessingby)


  1. Three Neolithic stone axe fragments have been found at Bessingby. Two are in Scarborough Museum
  2. [ Bridge Mill
  3. Bessingby in the Domesday Book
  4. 4.0 4.1 "History, topography, and directory of East Yorkshire (with Hull)". T Bulmer & Co. 1892
  5. Thompson, J (1821); "Historical Sketches of Bridlington", p. 37; reprinted BiblioBazaar, LLC (2010). ISBN 1141836459
  6. Capper, Benjamin Pit (1808) A topographical dictionary of the United Kingdom; Bes – Bet; Richard Phillips, Blackfiars; reprinted 2011; ISBN 1241313458
  7. Moule, Thomas (1837); The English Counties Delineated: A Topical Description of England, Volume 2; p. 405. George Virtue, London
  8. Allen, Thomas (1849); A New and Complete History of the County of York, Volume 4, p. 51; reprinted BiblioBazaar, LLC (2010). ISBN 114188867X
  9. Fleming, John; The Burlington Magazine Vol. 115, No. 838 (January 1973), pp. 4–17. The Burlington Magazine Publications Ltd.
  10. Kverndal, Roald (1986); Seamen's Missions: Their Origin and Early Growth, p. 288; William Carey Library. ISBN 0878084401
  11. Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge; The People's Magazine: An Illustrated Miscellany for Family Reading, Volume 5, p,364; reprinted 2011. ISBN 1173800786
  12. 12.0 12.1 National Heritage List 1083689: Church of Church of St Magnus (Grade II* listing)
  13. Nikolaus Pevsner: The Buildings of England: Yorkshire: York & East Riding, 1972; 1995 Penguin Books ISBN 978-0-300-09593-7
  14. National Heritage List 1031359: Bessingby Hall (Grade II listing)
  15. National Heritage List 1083645: Formerly Keeper's Cottage to Bessingby Hall (Grade II listing)
  16. National Heritage List 1346531: The Pigeoncote to Bessingby Hall (Grade II listing)
  • Gazetteer — A–Z of Towns Villages and Hamlets. East Riding of Yorkshire Council. 2006. p. 3.